LIMS Improves Genetics
Herds enrolled in the voluntary Limousin Inventory Management System (LIMS) commit to annual reporting of complete calving and culling data. By submitting such comprehensive production information, they contribute to inventory-proven genetics with more accurate EPDs.
Participants pay an annual fee of $15 per active cow and, in turn, can record performance for, register and transfer that year’s calves. For more information visit NALF’s website on the “Membership & Registry” tab. To enroll, contact Mary in the NALF office. The deadline to enroll for Spring 2012 is February 13.
Ownership Has Its Privileges
When you buy and transfer registered Limousin and Lim-Flex bulls, you gain access to NALF’s programs, services and expertise. Registrations and transfers open the doors to technical support and marketing assistance for your next calf crop.
NALF helps commercial customers obtain top prices for their Limousin-influenced cattle. Services include complimentary subscriptions to NALF’s Bottom Line publication, free use of the web-based Limousin Exchange Feeder Calf Classifieds and the opportunity to consign cattle to special feeder-calf sales.
Limousin breeders and customers can benefit from the collaboration in collecting, submitting, processing and utilizing performance data to facilitate dependable selections based on trustworthy EPDs. Buying, selling, and transferring registered seedstock supports genetic progress and service after the sale.
Insist on Authenticated Pedigrees
Documented, accurate pedigrees facilitate genetic management. They are essential for reaping the benefits of hybrid vigor (heterosis), managing inbreeding and calculating reliable EPDs.
NALF authenticates pedigrees through its DNA-based parentage-verification program. Highly propagated Limousin animals, including all bulls used in artificial insemination (AI), must have their sires and dams verified. Random tests check the accuracy of reported pedigree data for animals entering the herdbook.
Limousin has one of the most extensive parentage-verification programs in the beef industry to ensure reliable, profitable selection and to guard against genetic defects.
Registration papers authenticate pedigrees and credible EPDs appear on each registered animal’s performance record. If profitable genetic management is important to you, look for registered bulls to ensure integrity.
Multiple-Trait Selection Is Best
Since weight has a direct effect on net return, most progressive cattle producers buy bulls with high levels of growth. To achieve that goal, NALF encourages producers to select Limousin and Lim-Flex seedstock with acceptable weaning and yearling weight EPDs.
When selecting for increased growth, producers must also balance genetics for other traits—including birth weight, calving-ease, calf survival, frame size, mature weight and maintenance-energy costs. Disciplined selection on both ends of the growth curve is required. High-ranking, high-accuracy EPDs for birth, weaning and yearling weights and direct calving-ease (CED) are the most powerful tools for improving growth and minimizing the potential for calving problems.
In addition, commercial producers should place selection pressure on improved carcass traits. The mainstream market most generously rewards carcasses that grade at least Choice and Yield Grade 2. Selection of Limousin and Lim-Flex bulls with above-average EPDs for both marbling and yield grade (or ribeye area) will help set the genetic stage to hit those targets.
Spring EPDs Available
Expected progeny differences (EPDs) from the spring 2012 International Limousin Genetic Evaluation are available on the NALF website.
You can use the Sire Selector to specify EPD-selection criteria in searching qualified Limousin and Lim-Flex® bulls. The pedigree and EPD lookup allows you to search for information about a particular animal.
The site’s “Genetics & Performance” section includes the spring 2012 EPD statistics, percentiles and trends; sire summary qualifications; general sire listing; trait leaders; possible change chart; and downloadable sire summary.
Active NALF members can view their male and female EPDs via the website’s secured, members-only portion. They also can request whole-herd EPDs from the NALF office free of charge. New performance records are available for $2 each.
Scidera Now Processing Samples
Effective immediately, Scidera (formally MMI Genomics) is processing samples for NH (Neuropathic Hydrocephalus) and AM (Arthrogryposis Multiplex) tests.
As in the past, results will be sent to NALF and then released to members. If you have animals with samples already at Scidera that you would like to have tested, contact Mary Zilk in the NALF office for processing.
Promote Your Herd in the Bottom Line
NALF has launched a revamped version of the commercial publication, Bottom Line. It is a quarterly publication that will be distributed in December, March, June and September. The distribution list has grown to include more than 25,000 Limousin customers, commercial producers and potential customers. The publication is a joint effort between Limousin World and NALF, and has been completely redesigned as a tabloid publication.
You can promote your enterprise in Bottom Line by placing either an advertisement or a “Spotlight” advertisement in the publication. Contact Brooke Bennett in the NALF office to discuss this opportunity further and reserve your space in the next issue.
The NALF Staff is Here For You
If you have an upcoming state or regional event and would like a NALF representative present, please contact the NALF office. The spring sale season is coming up, so make sure that your event is on the NALF schedule.
Winner Takes ‘Em All
The Winner Takes ’Em All, Lucky 7 Bred Heifer Raffle, conducted by the Iowa Limousin Association, will culminate at their drawing February 15, at noon. The drawing will be held at the Iowa Beef Expo in Des Moines and can be viewed live at www.limousinlive.com. The last of the 777 tickets was purchased at the Genetics on Ice Benefit Auction during the National Western Stock Show. All proceeds from the raffle will go to support the 2012 “Win the Jackpot,” National Junior Limousin Show and Congress.
Emerging Leaders Academy Deadline Approaching
The application deadline for the 2012-2013 Emerging Leaders Academy is March 1. Applications are available on the NALF website. The Emerging Leaders Academy provides educational and leadership development opportunities to those seeking to build their involvement with the breed at the state, regional and national levels. The new class will have their first meeting in August of 2012.